The Parliamentary Education Centre – it’s epic!

For the last 30 years, Parliament’s Education Service has worked with hundreds of schools across the UK. Our award winning programme of school visits, teacher training, outreach, national competitions and classroom resources has enabled 1,000s of children to learn about and engage with politics and democracy. There are so many demands from the schools to bring children to Parliament and we simply can’t accommodate them. To get this building didn’t happen easily, it wasn’t about pain or emotion but it has happened We have 5 learning spaces, 4 of those are themed This room looks very much like the Chamber of the House of Commons Our 5th learning space is a discovery space which is an exciting and immersive space which uses 360° projection and sound technology to immerse students in the story of Parliament and so it really brings it to life It didn’t look like a normal film because there was a screen in front of me and sort of at the back and on both sides Let’s fast forward about 300 years and meet King Charles I I think that watching a film is even better than just looking at books and watching the teacher flick slides The Education Service programmes link across the National Curriculum across a range of subjects in a number of ways So students can come here, they can learn about debating skills for English, for example, we’ve got various programmes that link in the history of Parliament and the Crown and see how that relationship has changed over time and of course your students can come and learn about citizenship education I went to another room that had a bunch of iPads and we went over to the portraits on the walls and we just faced the iPads to them and they came alive. “You see when I was Queen the Palace of Westminster was rebuilt so my initials can be found all over the place” I was kind of like, what! School visits are for everyone for schools across the United Kingdom and we have a transport subsidy to support the cost for schools coming from further afield. You come into a facility like this and you’ve got the history of the building that’s next door it puts all into place and the children have really enjoyed it. It engaged them, they were focussed on it it was done with a good sense of humour as well. You can have fun, educational, you wouldn’t have to go to school, you can interact with people and you can get a fun tour guide. What we want to do is reach out to younger people and to say to them ” Look, it is your Parliament, this is where laws are made that affect you” This is a top quality facility, it is cutting edge, it is state of the art, it is interactive. The building itself is beautiful. I probably just stay there for a week Come here, it’s epic!

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